2019 Award Winners

Communication Awards

The Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents (WACAA) recently recognized several members during their annual banquet in Wisconsin Dells.  An affiliate of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA), WACAA is a professional organization for county, area, and state Extension professionals to encourage excellence and professionalism in their work; improve effectiveness of Wisconsin Extension programs; provide assistance for agents to seek and participate in professional improvement opportunities, and recognize and promote superior achievement.  Those who received top communication awards included:

  • Lyssa Seefeldt, Marquette County Agriculture Agent for her Published Photo and her Website.
  • Greg Blonde, Waupaca County Agriculture Agent for his Computer Graphics Presentation.
  • Tina Kohlman, Fond du Lac County Dairy & Livestock Agent for her Program Promotional Piece and Bound Book.
  • Katie Wantoch, Dunn County Agriculture Agent for her Personal Column, and Team Newsletter along with Jerry Clark, Chippewa County and Mark Hagedorn, Eau Claire County Agriculture Agents.
  • Stephanie Plaster, Washington/Ozaukee County Agriculture Agent for her Feature Story.
  • Heather Schlesser, Marathon County Dairy & Livestock Agent for her Video Recording.
  • Sara Mills-Lloyd, Oconto County Agriculture Agent for her Fact Sheet and Bound Book.
  • Adam Hady, Richland and Crawford County Agriculture Agent for his Publication.
View communication award winner photos.

Search for Excellence

Photo of Mark Hagedorn

Mark Hagedorn

Ryan Sterry, St. Croix County Agriculture Agent and Mark Hagedorn, Eau Claire County Agriculture Agent also received the Search for Excellence in Livestock Production for their work a joint research and publication project with colleagues across the state comparing both cost and efficiencies between traditional and automated dairy calf housing/feeding systems.






Katie Wantoch

Katie Wantoch

Katie Wantoch, Dunn County Agriculture Agent, received a Search for Excellence Award for her work developing a Sustainable Agriculture Recognition Program.



View the Search for Excellence photos.




Agriculture Awareness & Appreciation

Jerry ClarkJerry Clark, Chippewa County Agriculture Agent, received the Agriculture Awareness and Appreciation award for his work developing a farm safety program using a 35-mile bike ride with farm stops that featured various safety training information for both farmers and the public.


View Agriculture Awareness & Appreciation photos.


25 Years in Extension

photo of Jenny VanderlinJenny Vanderlin, UW-Madison Center for Dairy Profitability, received the 25 Years of Service Award for her twenty-five plus years of Extension work providing outstanding support for farm financial management and succession planning programs.  In addition, Vanderlin provides support to farm financial management programs and software; coordinates the Heart of the Farm – Women in Agriculture Programs throughout Wisconsin; and manages the Center for Dairy Profitability’s financial database, FARMBENCH (formerly AgFA©).

View the 25 Years in Extension photos.

Achievement Award

Photo of Sarah Mills-LloydSarah Mills-Lloyd received the Achievement Award as recognition of her excellence in the field of professional Extension among WACAA members with less than ten years of service.  Mills-Lloyd has served as the dairy and livestock agriculture agent for Oconto County since 2013.  She has programming in animal health and well-being and farm financial health and management. For the association, she has served as the Early Career Development North Central Region Vice Chair and State Chair.



View the Achievement Award photos.

Distinguished Service Award

Photo of Mark HagedornMark Hagedorn received the Distinguished Service Award for his excellence as a WACAA member with more than ten years of Extension service.  Hagedorn served as the agriculture agent for Brown County from 2006 – 2013 and Eau Claire County from 2013 – present.  Hagedorn programs in dairy farm management, employee safety, and the cost of raising dairy replacements.  Mark has served for several years as the Dairy Team Co-Leader.  For the association, Hagedorn has served as the president, past president, and on the JCEP board.


View the Distinguished Service Award photos.

Hall of Fame

Photo of Don DrostThe purpose of the NACAA Hall of Fame Award is to recognize NACAA individuals for demonstrated commitment, dedication and effective leadership in job performance as an outstanding educator, consideration for association involvement at both the state and national level, and outstanding humanitarian service. This award recognizes NACAA members with sustained and distinguished careers.

Don Drost, former Barron County Agriculture Agent (1976-1997) received the National Association of County Agriculture Agents Hall of Fame Award for his lifelong leadership and support to both the WACAA and NACAA.  Drost programmed in farm management and general agriculture.  For the association, Drost served as WACAA secretary and as NACAA North Central Region Vice
Chair, Vice President, President, and Past President.

View the Hall of Fame photos.

Second Mile Award

The following received the annual WACAA Second Mile Award for their exceptional effort supporting Wisconsin County Agricultural Agents in carrying out their educational programs.

  • Dr. Chris Baxter, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist at UW-Platteville.
  • Dr. Shawn Conley, Extension Soybean Specialist at UW-Madison.
Photo of Dr. Chris Baxter

Dr. Chris Baxter

Dr. Shawn Conley

Dr. Shawn Conley


View the Second Mile Award photos.




Friend of the County Agent

The following individuals received the annual “Friend of the County Agent” award for their outstanding support of County Agents and their Extension programs.

  • Julie Gabris, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin
  • Peg and Randy Urness, Fine Bine Farms, Rosholt WI
  • Ron & Beth Fruit, WRCO Radio in Richland Center
Photo of Julie Gabris

Julie Gabris, PDPW

Peg & Randy Urness receiving the Friend of the County Agent Award from Ken Schroeder.

Peg & Randy Urness receiving the Friend of the County Agent Award from Ken Schroeder.

Ron & Beth Fruit being presented the Friend of the County Agent Award by Adam Hady

Ron & Beth Fruit being presented the Friend of the County Agent Award by Adam Hady















View the Friend of the County Agent photos.


The WACAA annual awards are sponsored by Hoard’s Dairyman, The Wisconsin Agriculturist, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, The Country Today, and A&T Industries.

View photos of all award winners to download for media use.